Pigeon Cove Ledges Groundbreaking Draws Residents, Federal, State, and Local Officials

July 12, 2012

Pictured left to right: Linda Sanders, Rockport Town Manager; Sarah J. Wilkinson, Rockport Board of Selectmen; Seth Pitts, Area Specialist, USDA;  Jonathan L. Healy , State Director Rural Development MA/CT/RI; Senator Bruce Tarr; Bob Visnick , Rockport Housing Partnership; Mary Francis, Rockport Community Preservation Committee; Vito Colomo, Senator Scott Brown’s Office; Congressman John Tierney

On a very warm summer morning, over 50 people recently came together despite the heat to celebrate the project to Preserve and Improve Pigeon Cove Ledges in Rockport. Congressman John Tierney, Senator Bruce Tarr, and local Rockport officials Town Manager Linda Sanders, Mary Francis of the Community Preservation Committee, and Rockport Selectman Sarah Wilkinson, joined Harborlight Community Partners’ Board of Directors Vice President Bob Gillis to recognize the new collaboration which will preserve 30 units of affordable senior housing in Rockport.

It is critical that our communities are able to offer affordable housing for those in need, including for our senior citizens,” said Congressman Tierney. Partnerships like this one make a real impact in our neighborhoods and I am glad that this collaboration will preserve and improve the Pigeon Cove Ledges affordable housing for seniors in Rockport. 
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This important effort to protect and improve the senior housing came together in a multi-year effort harnessing both the nonprofit housing development experience of Harborlight Community Partners, the Town of Rockport’s investment of the Community Preservation Fund, and the commitment of the Rockport Housing Partnership. The property at 13 Curtis Street will be improved with updates to the 30 one-bedroom apartments and the installation of an elevator. Pigeon Cove Ledges is 22% of all the affordable housing in Rockport, hence the preservation of affordable status of the property was critical. This was a great joint effort among many here today,  said Mary Francis, Chair of Rockport’s CPC. Rockport is a compassionate and caring community, which is shown through this project. 

One Pigeon Cove resident in a motorized chair expressed her gratitude to Harborlight for the improvements, and especially the elevator installation. The elevator will allow her to take advantage of the building’s library and computer room, located on the second floor, which up until now she and other residents have been unable to access.

Senator Tarr stated, Pigeon Cove Ledges represents an important housing resource for Rockport and Cape Ann, and one that we couldn’t afford to lose. Fortunately, the forms of state, local, and federal government were able to join together to support strong community based leadership to ensure that these units will serve residents who need them for many years to come. 

Andrew DeFranza, Executive Director of Harborlight Community Partners, praised the Town of Rockport as well as state and federal officials who supported the effort to preserve the affordability of Pigeon Cove Ledges. Today we honor the effort and commitment of many dedicated and compassionate people who came to the table ready and willing to help. Preserving Pigeon Cove Ledges has truly exemplified the character and compassion of the Town of Rockport and all dedicated officials at state and federal levels. 

Other officials present at the ceremony included Seth Pitts, Area Specialist, USDA, Jonathan L. Healy , State Director Rural Development MA/CT/RI, Bob Visnick , Rockport Housing Partnership, and Vito Colomo of Senator Scott Brown’s Office.

HCP invites the North Shore community to visit www.harborlightcp.org to learn more about the work of HCP and its history.

About Harborlight Community Partners, Inc.

Harborlight Community Partners (HCP) provides a wide range of housing with services primarily for low and moderate income people living in Essex County. As the Region’s oldest and largest not-for-profit provider of affordable housing, HCP currently owns, manages, or supports 346 housing units providing home for over 450 people. This housing is contained within 17 rental facilities located in seven communities on the North Shore and 53 first-time buyer units largely through partnership with Community Land Trust of Cape Ann. HCP also hosts the Acord Food Pantry in Hamilton.

HCP provides affordable housing for working families, elders, and those with disabilities. By focusing on the housing needs of the region’s increasing underserved population and creating, preserving and operating safe, affordable housing units and supportive services, Harborlight Community Partners, Inc. strives to make homes available to all North Shore citizens, regardless of means. For more information, visit www.harborlightcp.org.